The common misconception is that marketing is difficult and expensive. On the flip side, marketing is pretty easy and affordable when you do it properly. With a couple of tips, you can create a buzz around your brand that will lead to more traffic, more sales and more money. See, it doesn’t sound too hard does it?

The trick is to avoid the mistakes that almost every young business makes with regards to marketing. Mistakes cost you time and cash, two assets that you can’t afford to waste.

Thankfully, you don’t have to waste anything because marketing mistakes are easy to avoid. All you need to do is understand what the mistakes are, and then you can sidestep them with one simple move.

Below you will find several examples of common mistakes and how you can avoid them. If you want to find out more, carry on reading.

#1: Not self-promoting

It is amazing how many companies don’t promote their goods or their services. Seriously, it sounds silly, but it happens all the time. One of the main reasons is that you believe the product will shine through without the need for any promotion.

After all, the product is that good that it will create a buzz on its own. It won’t. Your customers won’t learn about your brand or your product without you bringing it to their attention. Also, some companies don’t like to self-promote because they think it is tacky. It might be, but it works.

Self-promotion gets you noticed by the right people, and that brings more customers to your company. Don’t go overboard and tell everyone that you are the best in the business. But, don’t be afraid to display your product confidently either.

#2: Dismissing outsourcing

You might be a marketing expert. But, the odds are that you aren’t a marketing expert. If you aren’t, you need to outsource your marketing to a team of experts.

Doublespark internet marketing is a good example if you don’t know where to start. Marketing is a tricky task because it looks like it is easy. So, business owners without any experience attempt it in the mindset that they will have success.

The result, invariably, is that they don’t succeed because they don’t know what they are doing. Don’t make the same mistake because a good marketing campaign can enhance your business by a large margin. Take the hit and pay the professionals to come up with a spectacular strategy.

#3: Sharing trade secrets

As long as you aren’t a marketing firm, you should hold your secrets close to your chest. Marketing firms rely on attracting clients, which is why they like to share the wealth.

One email to a company could be enough to secure them a contract for the foreseeable future. You, on the other hand, are not a marketing firm. For that reason, you need to keep what you know to yourself so that you have an advantage.

If you share your marketing knowledge, you run the risk of strengthening your rivals and lowering your market share. Treat your strategy as if it is the most important thing in the world.

#4: Ignoring Google

Google is the master of online marketing. Although the term is search engine optimisation, it might as well say Google optimisation. The company is the undisputed king, and you need to kiss the ring. Don’t think of it as bowing down to them because you are only doing what you have to for survival.

Instead, think of it as a way of getting by in the industry without having to splash the cash. If you follow their guidelines, you will improve your ranking on their results page.

And, that will increase traffic to your site, which will lead to more sales and higher profits. All you have to do is create quality content that adds value to the Internet, and create quality backlinks.

A good tip that you should remember: include Google products. They say that they don’t promote their products, but that isn’t true. If you have Google Plus or YouTube on your site, you will score more points.

#5: Ignoring SEO

The last pointer already touched on SEO, but there is more to it than backlinks and quality content. In fact, there is that much it is too large to quote in one paragraph. Here’s one good tip, though: you can do it alone.

Of course, you should hire a marketing firm if you aren’t an SEO expert because they will have better results. But, you can do it internally if you don’t have the cash.

Start off by analysing what keywords your customers use when they search for your products. Then, incorporate these products into your site. Also, don’t forget that social media is your best friend.

With the help of Twitter and Facebook, you can broadcast your product to the world free of charge. You will also develop a relationship with your customer base that will come in handy in the future.

#6: Going over your budget

Yes, big firms have big marketing budgets that blow your small firm out of the water. However, there isn’t anything you can do about it with regards to your cash flow.

Unless you can magic a couple of million dollars out of thin air, you can’t compete with their budgets. Always bear that in mind when you set your firm’s budget.

It is not uncommon for businesses to spend too much on marketing because they think they have to if they want to compete. The result is that they start to haemorrhage money and go out of business.

The only way that you can compete is to find alternative ways to match their budget. Again, social media is a great tool because it reaches a large readership and it doesn’t cost a penny. The more of these you can find, the more chance you will succeed.

#7: Looks don’t matter

Looks do matter when it comes to your website. Regardless of what people say, they won’t warm to a site that isn’t good-looking or easy to navigate.

The industry term is bounce, which means they will go elsewhere. To lower your bounce rate, you need to modify your site wherever possible. Start with the design and make it as simplistic as possible.

Sites tend to look ugly when they are too complex. Then, make sure that it is easy to browse by adding the relevant tabs and links. These two simple measures will make all the difference.

#8: Not analysing your site

You can make all the adjustments in the world, but you won’t know if they are effective until you see the results. How do you find the results? You find the results by using Google Analytics.

There is more, but Analytics is the most popular software. Analytics tracks your site on a day by day basis and logs all of the relevant information.

For example, it logs how many people visit your site on a daily basis (traffic). But, it also tells you how many of them stay and how many bounces. If the bounce rate is high, you know that your adjustments are not working.

#9: Dismissing local search

Local searches are your bread and butter. In fact, they are the key to your success as a small or medium sized business. Lots of businesses go for the Hail Mary far too soon in their lifecycle and it doesn’t pay off.

You should build your brand slowly with the help of the local community and then expand. What you need to do is tailor your searches to the local community. For that, you need to research the most popular search terms in the area.

Although you can reach a large audience from the beginning, you are more likely to have success with the locals. Once they are on board, the world is your oyster.

#10: And the ‘Retro’ methods

Today’s companies also tend to dismiss the older methods as out of date and not effective thanks to the advent of technology. It is true that technology is better than before, and it is very helpful to businesses of all sizes.

But, it isn’t true that new age tech is the only marketing method you should use to promote your brand. A good strategy uses a variety of methods because they are bound to have a bigger effect.

There are still people in the industry that prefer to talk face to face than over the phone or by email. As a result, a simple business card will work better for these people than a Facebook post. They might be old, but they aren’t obsolete.

#11: Not working with the competition

Don’t work with your direct rivals because you stand to lose quite a lot if it goes wrong. However, you can work with a company that is in the industry that doesn’t compete with your business. In fact, you should work with these companies.

It is a simple method that is incredibly effective because it opens your business to a new customer base. All of a sudden, the opportunities are a lot bigger than before.

Founding Editor @Alltopstartups, Contributor @Entrepreneur, Columnist @Inc. Magazine and Curator at Postanly (his free weekly digest of the best life and career improvement posts on the web. Subscribe for free.